Rachael Petri, For The Miami Student

The worst they had ever seen. Those are the words nurses used to describe a sexual assault that took place in Middletown last fall.

Oct. 10, 2009, a 23-year-old female moved into her new home in Middletown. The woman, whose boyfriend had temporarily left the residence, entered her detached garage after hearing a strange noise.

“She had moved in that day, heard a noise and they were hiding in the garage,” said Lance Salyer, assistant prosecuting attorney for Butler County.

In her garage the woman found three attackers masked with red bandannas. The three men, Michael De’onte Miles, Corey Martell Isreal and Jad Holmes, held the woman at gunpoint and forced her to strip down. They then coerced her back into her home where they raped her.

“It is the classic worst fear kind of rape,” Salyer said. “She was minding her own business, in her own home and three strangers break in and rape her.”

The incident was alarming and experts say it was not the norm for such a crime.

“What happened in Middletown was horrific and egregious, but those kind of rapes are rare in comparison to what a typical situation looks like,” said Nicole Hall, coordinator of sexual assault prevention at Miami University.

Hall said most cases of rape are acquaintance rape, often surrounding a socially acceptable means of alcohol or drugs.

According to national statistics provided by Hall, about one in four women and one in 33 men will be the victim of sexual assault or attempted sexual assault.

Only about 5 to 10 percent of sexual assaults are reported, making it one of the most unreported crimes.

Hall said victims of rape do not come forward for a number of reasons including embarrassment and alcohol consumption.

Miami junior Ben Buettner said he feels the campus is safe for the most part.

“I have never felt unsafe anywhere on Miami’s campus,” Buettner said. “But you should still take standard safety precautions into consideration and be aware of your surroundings.”

Additionally, Hall said there is no way to prevent sexual assault because the only person who can do so is the perpetrator. Instead, Miami takes a risk reduction approach.

Miami’s risk reduction approach has two main components, Hall said. First, she suggests basic risk reduction tips such as remaining within one’s drinking limit and staying with a group of friends when going out. The second component focuses on changing the culture at Miami and the general attitude students have toward sexual assault.

“It is an effort to change the culture so that when we hear or when we see someone saying an inappropriate joke, we stand up and say something,” Hall said.

There are two ways this can be done, according to Hall, through passive events and active events. Passive events are handouts on campus used to spread the word. Women Against Violence and Sexual Assault (WAVES) and Men Against Sexual Assault (MARS) are both responsible for active events.

Each year, WAVES and MARS visit residence halls, athletic teams, student organizations, fraternities and sororities to raise awareness about sexual crime. 

Furthermore, Miami has an abundance of resources for victims of sexual assault.

Hall said she is always available to students who fall victim to sexual assault.

The Butler County Rape Crisis Program is another 24-hour crisis hotline for those affected by sexual assault.

For further questions or assistance, call the Butler Country Rape Crisis Program at 513-523-4146, or Nicole Hall at 513-529-1870.